BY LEON WORDEN, SCVNEWS.COM
Single-family home prices in the Santa Clarita Valley stayed where they’ve been the last couple of years in January, while the median condominium price was higher than it’s been in a year and a half, according to data Thursday from the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
The SCV’s typical detached home sold for $360,000 in January – down from December’s strangely high figure of $403,500 but on par with the year-ago level. Factoring in December, the average sale price for all of 2012 was $367,467. Not since January 2010 was the January figure higher than it was in 2013.
Meanwhile, condo prices averaged out at $206,700 – the best January since 2010 and the highest median price for any month since July 2011′s $217,500.
Realtor group leaders pointed to the fact that more single-family homes (149) closed escrow than in any January since 2009, although completed condo sales slumped to just 59 for the month.
“While not as dramatic as December, January home sales produced the best total for the month in six years,” said Bob Khalsa, president of SRAR’s Santa Clarita Valley Division.
“The lack of inventory is the major factor slowing the ongoing market recovery, a reality that may push prices higher and faster than a more balanced process,” SRAR said in a statement. There were 65.6 percent fewer active listings as of Jan. 31 (325) compared to January 2012, although the 2013 figure was up slightly from the record-low December 2012, when there were just 320 active listings.
Sellers have been wary and haven’t generally been putting their properties on the market if they can help it – although that is changing, SRAR officials say.
“More and more properties are selling the traditional way,” said Jim Link, SRAR’s chief executive.
Of the properties that closed escrow in January, 47.3 percent were traditional sales, 35.7 percent were short sales (where the bank agrees to a selling price that’s below the amount owed on the loan), and 16.4 percent were REOs (foreclosure sales).
“More and more properties are selling the traditional way,” Link said. “As that number increases, short sales and REOs will fall. That’s when you’ll see the market improve even more.”
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